Graduation Project - Boot into Virtual machine

ptbman

New Member
Feb 19, 2019
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Hello,

I'm a Informatics Engineering student at Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Coimbra - Portugal.

For my graduation project, I'm trying to provide a laboratory having a few physical computers/hosts (workstations, not servers) wich should be able to run a different VM according to the discipline being lectured at the time.

All the computers (workstations running Win10, there are no servers allocated for this) are part of an Active Directory Domain at the time. After virtualization, this should be the primary VM, and if not told otherwise by the admin/teacher, it should boot into this one. The teacher should be able to allow/disallow the access to the VMs (running VM). Each workstation is supposed to mainly use their peripherals/ports (keyboard, mouse, screen, NICs, COM and/or USB ports) as a normal workstation, only running a different guest OS.

Using multiboot is not an option, because of the following requirements:
it gives no control to the teacher on the running OS
each VM is supposed to backup (snapshot, differencing Disks or whatever) after being used, so that if a student screws the VM, it should be easy to revert to the latest backup (snapshot, differencing Disks or whatever).
It should be somehow possible to have a golden image for each OS/VM that should be easily replaced/deployed to every machine (so I guess VMs are great for this)
Is it possible to answer this challenge with Proxmox? Are the any alternatives?

Thanks for your help.

Filipe Simões
 

tim

Proxmox Staff Member
Staff member
Oct 1, 2018
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I'm curious, have you already installed ProxmoxVE for testing purpose?
In general your idea could probably implemented, but probably not out of the box.
This will need some extra work from your side, which could be more or less depending on your requirements.

In fact using ProxmoxVE as a developer workstation is quite common (installed on top of Debian), but as I read your requirements it's more about restricting access and enforcing what people can do via a central management interface. Another thing to consider is what's supposed to be performed in the VMs. Before going on I would encourage you to install a test host and read our documentation and afterwards we could discuss what is not working as you expected.

https://pve.proxmox.com/pve-docs/pve-admin-guide.html
 

ptbman

New Member
Feb 19, 2019
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I'm curious, have you already installed ProxmoxVE for testing purpose?
In general your idea could probably implemented, but probably not out of the box.
This will need some extra work from your side, which could be more or less depending on your requirements.

In fact using ProxmoxVE as a developer workstation is quite common (installed on top of Debian), but as I read your requirements it's more about restricting access and enforcing what people can do via a central management interface. Another thing to consider is what's supposed to be performed in the VMs. Before going on I would encourage you to install a test host and read our documentation and afterwards we could discuss what is not working as you expected.

https://pve.proxmox.com/pve-docs/pve-admin-guide.html
Thanks for the fast reply.

I've already created a VM on my personal computer (over Workstation Player because it supports nested virtualization and I cannot use another physical computer as a test-bench for now) so that I can at least have feeling on Proxmox. I have a few experience with ESXi and vsphere (from work, since I study and work).

So you reccommend for me to install Debian first and then Proxmox as explained here?

Maybe I didn't explained very well. It is mainly expected to the proxmox host to boot a teachers choice VM (of the locally stored VM pool) and the student feels minimal difference from a normal computer. Imagine a multiboot scenario, but instead of the user choosing the OS/partition to boot from, the teacher remotely chooses that by starting/enabling the VM for the student. Is this possible?

Thanks
 

tim

Proxmox Staff Member
Staff member
Oct 1, 2018
302
29
28
You don't need to install it on top of Debian, I just wanted to point out that this is a common scenario.
I do understand what your intention is and there is a option to start VM's on boot for example or via our web interface (which the teacher could use), but anything on a higher level will need some work from your side. For example you will need to connect to the VM's in some way, just booting the VM will not display anything on the host, there is spice for example.

There is no solution out of the box where you just boot and get a ready to use workstation like VM on the host. Although it should not be to tricky to implement something e.g. starting VM and after boot connecting to it via some protocol. If you read our documentation or some docs about virtualization in general you will learn more about the various options to implement this.
Just some tags you could google:

spice, nomachine, gpu passthrough, virtual desktop infrastructure (vdi)...
 

RJ Dowell

New Member
Sep 27, 2018
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Newark. Ohio
ptbman said:

I'm a Informatics Engineering student at Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Coimbra - Portugal.

For my graduation project, I'm trying to provide a laboratory having ...


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I simply need to do my homework for me for a graduation project.
Can I use ProxmoxVE as a primary workstation (Proxmox + Windows + GPU passthrough) in my classroom? I'm a mentor of the middle school STEM club this summer. Or should I try Proxmox inside the vmware perhaps?
 

Dominic

Proxmox Staff Member
Staff member
Mar 18, 2019
591
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Can I use ProxmoxVE as a primary workstation
This is what all developers here do. To do so, you will have to install a desktop environment on top of Proxmox VE. You can also do GPU passthrough to a Windows VM.

Or should I try Proxmox inside the vmware perhaps?
Do you currently have VMware running? Proxmox VE can run nested, that means you can run it inside a virtual machine. This is useful for testing purposes. For production, however, I would not recommend this.
 
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